News that Russia has registered the first vaccine to treat COVID-19 before starting and completing Phase 3 trials was greeted with alarm with some experts concerned it may come with safety issues that could stoke anti-vaccination and anti-science sentiment.
The country’s top medic has claimed that the Russian COVID-19 vaccine dubbed ‘Sputnik V’ is simple, effective and can be trusted, reported Sputnik news agency.
Sergei Tsarenko, deputy head of the anaesthesiology and resuscitation department at Moscow City Hospital 52 told Sputnik, “Gamaleya Center in microbiology is a brand like Mercedes in the automotive sector. I have known academics Gintsburg and Logunov working in this center for many years. Together with them, we are developing new methods to combat resistant bacteria.”
The report, citing Tsarenkom, claimed that vaccination is a safer and more reliable way to prevent deaths from COVID-19. Essentially, the Sputnik V vaccine consists of two components. According to the medic, “Just like the space shuttle was placed on the rocket, part of the coronavirus also places it in the adenavirus harmless to humans. And this ‘rocket’ is launched into the human body.”
“Then the body becomes immune to this ‘rocket’ and ‘space shuttle’. In order to consolidate the success, a similar ‘space shuttle’ is placed in another ‘rocket’, namely adenavirus, and transferred to the body after three weeks. Again, immunity is formed. As a result, it is weak against both adenaviruses (because the body does not need it), and a permanent and safe immunity is formed against coronavirus.”
“It’s simple like anything genius. But it did not occur to anyone except our experts. A few more vectorial vaccines are being developed in the world, but no one has two rockets among them,” added Tsarenkom with confidence.
The medic said the institute had developed the method, also known as viral vectors, a long time ago. It has since been tested in several vaccines developed against other diseases such as Ebola and MERS. “It’s as simple as all ingenious things in the world and so far no one else has managed to achieve it,” Tsarenko added.
Reports state that mass production of the vaccine was likely to begin soon and doctors and teachers would be offered immunisation first.
The vaccine will reportedly be made available for medics from late August or September, and the drug would go into general use from January 2021. Vaccination would be voluntary, Putin said.
Disclaimer: The information mentioned in the article is based on facts available in public domain. Guwahatitimes does not endorse any medication or vaccine for COVID-19. Any course of treatment should only be followed after consulting a medical expert.